What is a Virgin Cocktail & Why Should We Care?
Virgin cocktails, also called mocktails, are low or no alcohol beverages. Enough said?
Well, not really. At Double Dutch we’ve always been all about the flavour. This sometimes means enhancing the innate qualities of a spirit. However, it also means ensuring that our drinks and mixers are thrillingly tasty in their own right. That’s why we’re in favour of virgin cocktails - because they let our flavours shine!
But putting aside our devotion to providing the world with its most delicious mixers. There are many reasons why the rise of the virgin cocktail is good for everybody.
Caution with non-alcoholic mixed drinks
A word of caution before we tour the best of the virgins, mixed drinks are not always alcohol free. Anything from Kombucha to alcohol-free wine can contain up to .5% alcohol! So if you’re dedicated to being completely off the booze, you do need to check labels carefully.
The virgin cocktail’s rise to fame
January is the month when many people meet their first virgin cocktail. This can often be because they, or somebody they know is doing ‘Dry January’. This is when people aim to not drink alcohol throughout the whole month.
For Dry January novices it can come as a genuine surprise to discover just how delicious virgin cocktails can be. However, Dry January, or her increasingly popular little sister, Damp January, are not the only reasons for the popularity. Virgin cocktail are growing in popularity for a number of reasons, here are a few::
Can’t drink, won’t drink
For pregnant women, people on certain medications, and people with certain cultural or spiritual preferences around alcohol avoidance. The virgin cocktail is an elegant way to be part of a group without being put on the spot. There’s just no way to tell if the person next to you is drinking a Paloma or our own delectable Panoma. Anyone can be the life of the party, without having to drink alcohol to fit in.
We’re proud to be in the vanguard of giving people choice: alcohol, low alcohol, no alcohol - the point of having fun is that it should be stress free, and virgin cocktails are definitely fun without frazzle.
Working on wellbeing
Virgin cocktails are the perfect choice for people who want to avoid the calorie load that goes with alcohol consumption. January is also the time of year when some people have resolved to eat and drink differently, maybe to lose weight but maybe just to be mindful about what they are consuming. A virgin cocktail is a fantastic opportunity to explore new tastes or remind ourselves of the subtle details of a familiar flavour without the sometimes overwhelming taste of alcohol.
So if you’ve committed to your own wellbeing in 2023, the virgin cocktail is a way to enjoy self-care and keep your focus. In fact you might be surprised just how self-indulgent a virgin cocktail can be. With ingredients from fresh coconut milk through to organic fruit and low calorie mixers with vibrant flavours, you might find you don’t miss alcohol at all!
The obvious reason that some folk opt for virgin cocktails is that they are that evening’s designated driver.
Who hasn’t seen some movie where a disgruntled character is clinking their glass of mineral water or coke against the beer bottles being held by all their friends? Virgin cocktails make that particularly lazy trope a thing of the past. We’ve already pointed out that you can’t tell a well-constructed virgin cocktail from a traditional mixed drink by eye, and that you can’t necessarily tell the difference by taste either.
The final point that makes the virgin cocktail into a fantastic addition to the world of drink, is that they provide a range of choice that allows anybody to feel like they aren’t missing out by taking alcohol out of the equation. It’s no longer a case of being offered a mere one or two soft drinks… there’s a world of fabulous virgin cocktails out there, just waiting to be ordered.
Can all drinks be made virgin?
Yes … and no. While there’s always a version of an alcohol-based drink that can be made virgin, it’s not as simple as just removing, or substituting the alcohol, as the blending of flavours is a complex process.
Simply put, some drinks just don’t taste ‘right’ if they’re poorly substituted, which is why the best mixologists are extremely well-versed in finding flavours, and blends of flavours, that create a similar drink to an alcohol based classic. Our Pineapple Mule is a perfect example - not a substitute for the traditional Moscow Mule but a drink that builds off the original, coming up with a unique, alcohol free taste that’s similarly satisfying but absolutely not a pale copy.
Ready for an alcohol free drink?
Have we convinced you to try some virginity? If so, we’ve also got a whole page of virgin cocktails that you simply won’t believe are alcohol free. From fresh fruity Pineapple Mules to refreshing Zen Gardens, you can find all of our mocktail recipes here. If you’ve embraced the virgin drink theme, and have your own signature drink, we’d love to hear about it!